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Juwan Staten announced late Saturday night via Twitter his plans to forgo the NBA draft and play his senior season at West Virginia.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Twitter brought good tidings to West Virginia basketball fans late Saturday night—news so good they may want to dig those season-ticket order forms out of the trash after all.

Juwan Staten announced he’s returning for his senior year.

The All-Big 12 point guard, coming off one of the most well-rounded individual seasons in the program’s history, was viewed as a 50/50 candidate to enter the NBA draft. And on the heels of backcourt mate Eron Harris abruptly transferring this week, the additional loss of Staten could have severely dented West Virginia’s hopes of making the NCAA tournament next year.

But just when the Mountaineers’ offseason had turned cloudy, the tireless playmaker Staten tweeted that he’ll put his draft dreams on hold: “Looks like I’ll be spending my senior year at WVU with my main man @CoachHuggs!!!”

Staten, who turns 22 in May just days ahead of receiving his degree in public relations, has already spent four years in college—one of those as a redshirt transfer after coming to WVU from Dayton. After being spotty as a sophomore and clashing with Huggins on occasion, Staten recommitted himself. He wound up leading the Big 12 in scoring (18.1) and minutes (37.2) as a junior, while finishing second in assists (5.8), third in shooting percentage (48.6) and eighth in steals (1.2).

After a season like that, observers wondered how Staten could possibly better his stock. Two areas he’ll try to address: Improving his 3-point shot to match the consistency of his mid-range jumper, and proving he can lead a team to the NCAA tournament for the first time.

As word spread of Staten’s decision to stay in school, he followed up with another tweet:

“The work I’m going to put in this offseason is scary. I want to be a 2015 NBA lottery pick!”

Facing next season without Staten would have been scary for Bob Huggins. Neither of the two combo guards signed from the high school ranks could have been expected to adequately handle the point guard duties, and senior Gary Browne has proven to be better suited to a reserve role.

Thursday’s revelation that West Virginia had offered a scholarship to Independence (Kan.) Community College point guard Tarik Phillip was viewed as another indicator Staten wouldn’t be returning. It bears watching to see whether that offer stands—and it might, because WVU still has a slot available from Harris’ departure. Plus, Huggins might relish having a point guard like Phillip groomed to bridge the gap once Staten and Browne are gone in 2015-16.

But Huggins was living in the now when he tweeted his contentment Saturday night:

“Happy and excited to have the pleasure of coaching @JuwanStaten3 for another year. Looking forward to helping Juwan achieve every goal.”

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Comments

  • Chris1529

    What if Boatwright would have come here instead of Jabarie Hinds?

  • Cameron

    This is how far since the Final Four WVU basketball has fallen. Because of Huggins and his staff's incompetence at recruiting we now have to celebrate a player not going pro and that is by far the best news this offseason. Staten will be the difference between a sub 500 season and at best an NIT birth so pop the bottles and light the fires!

    Great day to be a Mountaineer!

  • BigEER

    Staten just solidified his WVU status with mountaineer fans everywhere!

  • jay zoom

    (Aaron) just going by a comment I heard on ESPN after Harris said he was going to transfer. and yes I have no use for Oliver Luck since the greedy S>O>B> started to rip off the MOUNTAINEER FAITHFUL including me.

    • Aaron

      I don't know his mom so I can't comment on that part but isn't the idea of the athletic to at the very least be self sufficient?

      If the $20 he's now charging to park at basketball games help non-revenue sports, is it really that big of deal. If you don't want yo pay it then park elsewhere and walk to the game.

  • Mark

    Staten is a born leader. He is a hard worker as well as a verbal leader. After next season he will be considered one of the best to ever play here. What we need is for our big guys to rise to the occasion this offseason. Maybe Juwan will inspire them to get in the gym and the weight room.

  • Bill Tanzey

    This decision is hugely positive. Staten could be an All American next year. Our team now has a shot at making the big step we need in the BXII Conference.

  • Mister Man

    I hope to see you in Morgantown, Mr. Phillip. Greetings and salutations.

  • Bird33

    I'm glad Staten is staying for his Senior year, very smart move. He will only help himself for the NBA draft next year.. I feel he will be a top 10 pick..

  • Ghost Rider

    I watched the program on ESPN about the Big East Conference and I was appalled about how they depicted WV. They showed a shack in the woods with banjos playing and people dancing on the porch without shirts and barefooted. I read an article in the newspaper from the president of the student body at WVU demanding an apology from ESPN about the way they portrayed WV and I agree whole heartedly. We need to do something to change the way people in this country portray West Virginians.

    • Mister Man

      The people responsible for that depiction and its showing, obviously, needed to portray people superior to them. I hope this won't balloon into more publicity for ESPN. It seems to me to be nothing more than a publicity stunt.

  • mad hatter

    without a doubt, the best thing that could happen to this team,,, next yr looks quite a bit brighter with juwan coming back,,

  • THANKS OLLIE!!!!

    Well here I am sitting and waiting on the baseball game to start and I see that it's been delayed. THANKS OLLIE!!!! The first time our team has been significant enough to warrant a national broadcast of a home regular season game, OLLIE had to screw it up and let it rain. THANKS OLLIE!!!! We have no business being this significant and he should fire this moron of a coach, bring Greg Van Zant back, and get on his knees and BEG the Big East to take us back. He should then immediately submit his resignation as he's driving this athletic department into the ground with all the money it's making and national exposure it's getting. Gee, THANKS OLLIE!!!! You've done it again!

    But I am kinda digging watching theses girls wrestle!

  • jwg66

    Very glad Juwan is coming back. This is a good move for him as he can improve is worth by adding distance and consistency to his long range shot. His athleticism is already beyond question. His return gives me much hope for next year.

    I'm very disappointed to see Harris leaving. He is simply one of many recently. There is a serious attrition problem that needs to stop. Huggs, figure this out and fix it!

    Now we just need to find another shooter (who can defend too) and we should be much better positioned for W's in this B12 league.

  • Mister Man

    Fantastic day to be a Mountaineer!!

  • ole sasquatch

    Great news. Watching Dayton play defense, I hope we can copy that foot speed of staying in front of the offensive player and not allowing them to so easily go around us. Like our defense use to play when we were in the final four.
    I want to see a lot more of full court pressing like Huggins did when he was at Cincinnati. Quickness of feet people, that's what we need.

    • Aaron

      I agree. They've got the offense down, they need to improve on defense. Far to many guys getting easy shots due mostly to effort, or lack thereof.

  • jayzoom

    Staten may be staying but WVU will be one and done come march next year. Holton will be a bust if and I mean if he gets to play for the mountaineers next year (read between the lines. (THANKS OLLIE)

    • Aaron

      Why wouldn't he get to play? Holton is not setting out because he did not make the grades, he is setting out because he transferred from to a D-1 school to a Community College and then back to another D-1 school without getting his diploma. The NCAA is very clear on that rule and rarely, if ever grants waivers in such circumstances.

      Grades were never an issue with Holton, including his time at WVU. He will have 2 years of eligibility and will contribute to the success of West Virginia's basketball team.

      I understand you have a hatred of Oliver Luck that defies reason but there really is no need for fallacies.